Talawa seeking theatremakers aged 16-25 for YPTP:16

If you are aged 18 – 25, creative and want to work in theatre, join TYPT:16.

Talawa’s TYPT gives you the chance to work with the UK’s primary Black-led theatre company, to collaborate with professionals and to create a brand new piece of theatre – and it’s FREE!

How it works: TYPT is a collaboration between experienced practitioners and artists at the beginning of their careers. Over 4 weeks, the TYPT company work together to develop skills, test ideas and produce a brand new piece of theatre.

Who it’s for: Anyone involved in making theatre – performers, designers, stage managers, writers and technicians aged 18-25. There are 2 ways to be involved:

  • Onstage: Performers and devisers work intensively to write, devise and perform a brand new play.
  • Offstage: Designers, stage managers and technicians work as part of the production team from initial meetings to the final show.

How to apply: To apply, contact gail@talawa.com for the application form. (And sign up to their opportunities newsletter to have it sent to you directly in the future.)

Deadline: Friday 24 June at 1pm

Source: Talawa Newsletter

New Works of Merit 2016 Playwriting Contest ($25 entry fee)

The New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest is an international  playwriting contest developed in 2003 to bring works of social significance to the general public, works that might not otherwise have the opportunity to be presented.  They aim to present  “powerful, heart-felt new works that not only entertain, but also educate, enlighten, and uplift humanity.”

The contest receives mentorship and interns from Merit Theater and Film Group, Inc. (MTF), a Theater and Film organization that helps theatrical and film artists develop their craft and present their work through developmental activities, readings, and/or full productions.

What to submit: They accept scripts that meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Enhance self-realization
  2. Support peace and social justice
  3. Foster new understanding of minority issues that focus on racial, ethnic and gender discrimination both in the United States and abroad
  4. Empower youth to build healthy inner foundations
  5. Educate to gain further insight into healthy social/emotional living
  6. Shed new light on religious, spiritual, and cultural differences and issues
  7. Build respect for cultural expression and identity in a world that is experiencing rapid globalization
  8. Explore the widening gap between the values this country was founded on and the values we present to the world today

Eligibility:  Scripts from outside the United States are greatly welcomed.  Detailed information about script eligibility can be found here.

What you pay:  $25 entry fee.  If you would like feedback on your script, the entry fee is one script for $70 and two scripts for $120.(Payment link here.)

What you get:  The winner will receive $300 + a reading and Q&A in a professional theatre.

How to apply:  Full submission guidelines can be found here.

Submit PDF documents of the following, together, IN ONE EMAIL:  Script and application form (located here on their website) to NewWorksOfMerit@aol.com.  Payment can be made online.  (Note: an option for mail submission is also available, though electronic submissions are preferred.)

Deadline:  30 June 2016

Source: Direct contact

Drop-In Writing Workshops in Horwich

Helen Prescott, a writer affiliated with the Octagon Theatre, puts on weekly writing workshops every Thurs 10-12 noon in Horwich, currently at Brewed Coffee, cafe, 47 Lee Lane.

These writing workshops are open to visitors, so if you are in the area, do feel free to pop in.

How to get involved: If you require any more information about this external event, please contact Helen Prescott: h.prescott@yahoo.co.uk.

Source: Direct contact

The Eddy (online theatre subscription service) open to play submissions

The Eddy is currently open to play submissions from unproduced playwrights under age 35.

About The Eddy: ‘The Eddy is a digital, subscriber-based theatre community unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The Eddy is a revolutionary platform whose main purpose is to distribute scripts by up and coming playwrights to subscribers interested in reading, and even producing, new works. Though the playwright stands at the center of our model, The Eddy is a place for all theatre artists to connect over a shared love of new work.’

How it works:  ‘It’s very simple and the best part is, it’s completely free to subscribe! By providing their e-mail, subscribers to The Eddy will digitally receive PDFs of new plays each month. These plays are selected from The Eddy’s open play submission process and curated by The Eddy’s literary staff to provide readers with a wide and varied array of new works each month. If you particularly enjoy a script, as long as the playwright has agreed to share their contact information, you can connect via e-mail and discuss the work further. With The Eddy, the possibilities for connections are endless.’

Eligibility:  Submissions are open to all unpublished playwrights under the age of 35.

What to submit:

  • Ten-minute, one-act, and full-length plays are all accepted
  • Playwright must submit a short synopsis of the play (no more than 200 words) in the body of the e-mail

What you pay: Submission fee is $1 (100% of submission fees go to the upkeep of The Eddy website).

How to apply: 

  • Plays must be submitted in PDF format to theeddysubmissions@gmail.com with the subject line formatted “Full Name-Play Submission-Title of Play”
  • Plays must contain a cover page with the playwright’s preferred means of contact (e-mail, phone).
  • The application fee is payable via their website.

(Remember, any information shared on the cover page will be distributed to all subscribers. If you are a playwright who would not like to be contacted, please make sure to remove all contact information.)

Deadline:  18 July 2016

Source:  Direct contact


Second Sons Theatre Company seeking short alternative comedy plays

Second Sons Theatre Company, based in London, is currently open to submissions for short comedy plays for their new writing night Play Time. The event is at Theatre N16 in Balham on Friday 2nd September at 7.30pm.

What to submit:  They are looking for five ‘unique, alternative comedies.’ Plays must be between 5 and 15 minutes and feature no more than four characters. Monologues are accepted, but technical requirements for all pieces must be minimal.

How to apply:  All submissions should be sent to secondsonstc@gmail.com. Please attach any documents (scripts, CV’s) as a PDF format.

Deadline:  Monday 4 July 2016

Source: Direct contact

Pursued By A Bear: “Is it a bad idea to write about my troubled relationship with my father?”

Pursued By A Bear is our weekly advice column with playwright Adam Taylor.  He’ll tackle your playwriting questions – from practical issues to existential dilemmas – relying on nothing but his bare wits, brute strength, and questionable personal experiences.

“Hey Adam, this is a bit more personal than most of the questions you get, so I understand if you don’t want to answer it.  I have a really difficult relationship with my father.  I don’t know if I should go into too much detail here, but he had some serious problems – both in terms of his choices and his mental health.  I feel like I’ve come to terms with it now, but this really fucked me up when I was younger.  And I joke that this gives me great material to be a writer, which is true.  But when I sit down to write about him and us, I feel really stuck.  He’s estranged from pretty much the whole family, so it’s not really an issue of ruining our relationship.  Sometimes I think about reaching out to him, and I wonder, if I’ve written a play about him, would this make things easier?  Harder?  When I was growing up, no one had any idea how bad things were at home, because the whole family was really good at keeping up a appearances, so part of me wants to let it all loose and finally be honest.  But it’s really hard to overcome this upbringing.  I’d love to write something really searing and honest, but I don’t know if this is who I am as a writer.  This would be a big departure from my other work. I guess the question is should I write about my father, and how do I do this?”

First of all I’d like to say I admire your honesty in putting this question forward. It’s never easy talking about our personal demons and family issues, but as writers we’re often told this is expected of us.

We all admire those playwrights who are able to put their lives down on the page, conveying their most painful personal experiences honestly and unflinchingly. I’m sure every writer worth their salt has tried to write something so raw at some point in their career.

It’s worth bearing in mind everything we write is coloured by our personal experience. We may not be basing every play on actual events we’ve been through, but we’re still in there somewhere. I could write a play about the assassination of Martin Luther King, a man I never met, killed in a place I’ve never been over a political struggle far removed from my own life, and it would still be framed by my experience. It would be my interpretation of that story, and my interpretation would be shaped by my own relationship with the world around me. Another writer given exactly the same facts about that story would inevitably come up with a very different play.

So my guess is that, although you haven’t yet consciously written about your father, your childhood experiences of him will have seeped into your work in some shape or form already. Our parents are hugely instrumental in forming our worldview from a young age, whether good, bad or absent.

I’d like to explore the practical implications of your question first because I think it’s important you think about what you’ll actually have to do before you decide if you’re emotionally ready to do it.

In order to write honestly about such a personal topic it’s essential to have some distance. I don’t think it’s possible to ever feel completely neutral about something which has obviously had a lasting impact on your life, but you need to be able to look at the situation objectively as much as you can.

You say your father made some bad choices; in order to recreate him as a believable and nuanced character, you’ll have to examine those choices from his point of view. Why did he make those bad choices? Did he feel he was doing the right thing? Did he feel he had no choice? Did he consider how his actions would affect others? Did he later regret what he did? This won’t be easy, it basically means being able to put your own feelings aside and see the situation through his eyes.

From an audience perspective we have to be able to understand your father. His choices have to be believable to us, and the only way for this to happen is if his motivations are clear. This will probably involve some painful soul-searching on your part but what you’ll need to do is try to pinpoint what was behind his behaviour.

You also mentioned in your question that your father was having some mental health issues. Mental health is a very sensitive area for a lot of people, but I don’t think that’s a reason to shy away from writing about it. I haven’t personally dealt with anything like this so please don’t take what I say here as an expert opinion, I’ll offer you my advice based on plays and films I’ve seen which deal with mental health issues. For me, the key to writing about mental health is to remember that the fact a person has mental health problems isn’t a motivation for their actions.

I’m sure you wouldn’t treat your father in this way, but I have seen some portrayals of characters with mental health issues in which the only justification for what the character is doing is “She’s not well.”

In order for a character to be believable their motives need to be powered by how they’re feeling. If a character has agoraphobia and refuses to go outside it’s not enough to just treat agoraphobia as the cause of their behaviour, you need to show how the prospect of going outside makes that person feel. Maybe open spaces make them feel insignificant, maybe the noise of traffic terrifies them, maybe they’re afraid of pigeons. Whatever it is, make sure their actions are motivated by genuine emotions. This way we can relate to them and sympathise even if we’ve never struggled with mental health issues ourselves.

I hope the above has been helpful with the question of how to write about your father. I really think it’s about getting enough distance to be able to see things from his point of view.

Now I’ll try to address whether you should write about your father in the first place.

Obviously the only person qualified to fully answer this question is you. If you feel writing about this will give you some clarity or help you move past issues then I’d say go for it. The only instance in which I’d say you really need to be careful is if there’s a strong possibility the play will hurt others who may feel differently about the situation. Again, that’s something only you can decide and I really don’t want to sway you either way because I only know the few small details you gave in your question.

Many writers feel a need to write for therapeutic reasons, whether they’re touching directly on personal issues or not. It can be a very powerful outlet for emotions you can’t otherwise reveal to the world. However, it does require a lot of deep thinking around the topic, and there is a distinct possibility you’re not ready to do this, even if you think you are.

Proceed with caution. I don’t doubt for a second you’ve thought about your father’s situation over and over again through the years, but actually sitting down to consciously explore your relationship with him and write about it will require a different type of thinking. You’ll have to try to see both sides of everything, to view the situation as an outsider would. You’ll have to examine your own actions and emotions as well.

If at any time the writing becomes too much for you I’d recommend you put it on hold. There’s no such thing as failure here, if you can’t finish the play now you can always come back to it in a few months or years.

I’m no psychologist, but I do know we all hold onto certain emotions without even realising they’re in us. Don’t put yourself in a bad place for the sake of a play.

Of course, you may well find it’s a relief to finally unburden yourself of this story.

Before you start, if you do decide to go ahead, please bear in mind that whatever happens you’re not obliged to ever show what you write to anyone.

If it turns out the play is too personal and you don’t want to share it, just keep it for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with that. You may find in years to come your feelings change and you’re ready to share it. You may never want to show it to another soul. Either way, it’s entirely your choice.

Going back to your question, I have no idea whether writing the play will make it easier or harder to reunite with your father. I’m afraid that’s something only time will tell. You may realise you’re able to let go of certain feelings and make a fresh start with him, on the other hand you may unearth more negative emotion and decide you don’t want to see him. That’s a risk you’ll be taking but at least you’ll know you’ve put some deep thought into the decision.

If you do go ahead with writing a play about your father make sure you give yourself the freedom and space to do so honestly. Be absolutely honest with yourself about how you feel and you’ll end up with a powerful play.

Finally, I’d like to end by addressing a particular part of your question; “I don’t know if this is who I am as a writer.”

Don’t pigeonhole yourself. You’re not one type of writer. Who you are and the way you write continues to evolve every time you sit down at the keyboard. If this is what you feel you need to write about at this moment in time, then it’s who you are.

If you then feel you need to write a comedy about three talking parrots who work in a butcher’s shop, that’s who you are as a writer at that point in time.

If this is completely different to anything you’ve written before there will be a distinct learning curve to ascend, but don’t let that put you off. Developing your skills in another type of writing is never a waste of time.

You clearly have strong feelings about writing this play, and the fact you’ve written to me about it shows you’re not afraid to explore the idea. The key to writing searing and honest theatre is to be fearless, to bare your soul to the world. Whether that means writing autobiographical pieces or using elaborate metaphors to explore the deep recesses of your mind, your hopes, fears and desires should be in there somewhere. So, even if you find you can’t write directly about your relationship with your father, you should strive to write with searing honesty in all of your work anyway.

Your personal truth is your most powerful asset as a writer, if you can find a way to express it in your writing you’ll always create something unique and honest.

Have a question or problem you’d like to send in?  Email advice@londonplaywrightsblog.com and keep your eyes peeled to see if the answer turns up on our site!

(DISCLAIMER: If you send us a question, you’re giving us permission to publish it!  Be sure to indicate what name you’d like us to use as a sign-off when we publish your column, and a just a heads up that we reserve the right to edit submissions for length if needed.)

Photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar via CC license

‘Tonic Celebrates’ event recognizing women in theatre

Tonic Celebrates
Wednesday 22 June at 7pm

Ambassadors Theatre
West Street, London, WC2H 9ND

Tonic Theatre is celebrating the achievements of leading theatre practitioners. At each Tonic Celebrates event they’ll bring together a group of remarkable women to talk about their careers, successes and inspirations. Followed by audience Q&A.

In the first event, Lighting designer Paule Constable (Warhorse), Tricycle Artistic Director Indhu Rubasingham (Red Velvet), and writer Jessica Swale (Nell Gwyn) will be in conversation with Tonic Theatre’s Director Lucy Kerbel.

How to book: Tickets are £5, £10, £15 (plus booking fee) and are available from www.theambassadorstheatre.co.uk or via 0207 395 5405.

Source: Tonic Newsletter

Opportunities Weekly Round-up: 27 May 2016

Our weekly Friday round-up of opportunities listed on the blog that haven’t yet reached their closing date (listed in order of closing date).  Opportunities are grouped into four sections: 1) Pick of the Week & featured posts; 2) Opportunities with Deadlines; 3) Workshops and Events; 4) Ongoing opportunities (No deadline).

Want to be sure you never miss an opportunity?  Sign up for our email list to get the weekly roundup direct to your inbox!

Our latest opportunities Pick of the Week:  The Kevin Elyot Award

This Week in our Advice Column, Pursued By A Bear: “What’s the best way to write fantasy for the stage?”

Coming up with London Playwrights’ Workshop: 

Summer Workshops from London Playwrights Blog

LPW Play Development Workshop – 2 June – 21 July 2016 on Thursday afternoons from 3-5pm*
(*two weeks with scheduling variations noted on course page)

Pitching with Confidence – Saturday 4 June 2016 from 10am-1pm

Introduction to Writing for TV – Saturday 4 June 2016 from 2-5pm

London Writers Week – now booking!

Opportunities with deadlines:

Play Submissions Helper – 50 playwriting competitions with May deadlines

Play Submissions Helper – 51 playwriting competitions with June deadlines

British Urban Film Festival 2016 open to submissions of films and scripts (submission fee) – Early Bird Deadline 27 May 2016; Late Deadline Monday 27 June 2016.

Sheer Height Theatre seeking submissions for Women Redressed- Deadline: 27 May 2016

Irlam Fringe 2016 call out for scripts – Deadline: 28 May 2016

Nick Darke Writers’ Award 2016 open for entries – Deadline: 30 May 2016

ShowBiz Shorts Playwriting Contest (Los Angeles) – Deadline: 30 May 2016

Rupture Productions seeking short pieces on LGBT themes for ‘Shred’ scratch night – Deadline: 30 May 2016

BAFTA’s Breakthrough Brits scheme open to applications (film & tv) – Deadline: 30 May 2016

BAFTA Breakthrough Brits open for applications – Deadline: 30 May 2016

Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize open for submissions (comedy) – Deadline: 31 May 2016

Little Fish Theatre accepting short play submissions for Pick of the Vine 2017 (paid) – Deadline: 31 May 2016

Arch and Bruce Foundation 2016 Playwriting Competition (LGBT Themes, $3,000 prize) – Deadline: 31 May 2016

Falling Pennies accepting submissions for scratch night at the Arcola – Deadline: 31 May 2016

Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers ($2,500 prize) – Deadline: 1 June 2016

From Page To Stage seeking new musical theatre works – Deadline: 3 June 2016

Kevin Elyot Award to provide residency at University of Bristol Theatre Collection (£3,000 prize) – Deadline: 3 June 2016

Re-awakened at Theatre503 seeking submissions – Deadline: 3 June 2016

Bush Theatre accepting submissions for Project 2036 (£10K bursary for BAME writers) – Deadline: 6 June 2016

Royal Court accepting applications for Introduction to Playwriting Groups – Deadline: 7 June 2016

London Playwrights Workshop is looking for an Intern –  Deadline: 8 June 2016

Creative Pathways Talent Funds (selected London boroughs) – Deadline: 9 June 2016

Literary Projects Co-ordinator at RSC – Deadline: 10 June 2016

‘Love Cabaret London’ micro-commission with Spiltmilk Dance and artsdepot (£250 commission) – Deadline: 10 June 2016

Disappear Here seeking writers and film-makers for poetry/film project – Deadline: 15 June 2016

Creative Writing wanted for magazine – Deadline: 15 June 2016 at 5pm

The Scottish Book Trust seeking writing on theme of ‘secrets’– Deadline: 22 June 2016

The Dangerous Women Project accepting submissions – Deadline: 24 June 2016

British Urban Film Festival 2016 open to submissions of films and scripts (submission fee) – Early Bird Deadline 27 May 2016; Late Deadline: Monday 27 June 2016

Eastside Screenwriters free Screenwriting Course for 16-19 year olds – Deadline: 27 June 2016

Emerald Theatre seeking short plays for ‘Out of the Closet’ (Tennessee, $10 entry fee) – Deadline: 30 June 2016

Le Théâtre Bleu seeking submissions of comedies in Shakespearean language (Quebec, Canada) – Deadline: 1 July 2016

Skint Theatre seeking 10-15 minute plays for Bristol performance– Deadline: 6 July 2016

Alfred Fagon Award 2016 open for applications from playwrights of Caribbean or African descent – Deadline: 29 July 2016

BBC Wales Drama Award launched (Welsh writers) – Deadline: 29 July at 5pm (submissions open on 18 July 2016)

The Adrian Pagan Award 2016 launched– Deadline: 31 July 2016

Free Rayne Artists seeking submissions for Spiral at the Bread & Roses Theatre – Deadline: 14 August 2016

2016 Terence Rattigan Society Award (£10 entry fee, £2,500 prize) – Deadline: 31 August 2016

StageWrite 2017 playwriting competition (open to Bedfordshire students only)- Deadline: 30 September 2016

Writers required for La Musa Sulla Nuvola – The Muse on the Cloud – Deadline: 20 December 2016

365 Women A Year Playwriting Project open to submissions throughout 2016 – Deadline: 31 December 2016

Events and workshops: 


Masterclass: Introduction to Playwriting with Fin Kennedy (£50) – Saturday 4 June 2016 from 10 – 6pm

Playwriting – All Levels: writing course with Jennifer Farmer at Bishopsgate Institute – 6 June – 11 July 2016

Omnibus Writers Group (£120 for 8 sessions) – Starts 7 June 2016

Arvon Course – Playwriting: Improving your playwriting craft from blank page to stage – – 

Scripts: An Actor’s Approach – A Workshop with Julie Glover – Saturday 29 June 2016 from 10am – 4pm

Writers’ Mutual Retreat in Bordeaux (£350-£450) – 12th-18th July

Arvon Course – Writing For Puppetry: Writing The Impossible – – 

Arvon Course – Musical Theatre: Using music and lyrics to tell the tale – – 

Ongoing submissions:

BBC Comedy Classroom – Comedy writing resources for young people – various deadlines

BFI Postroom open to submissions of films and scripts from emerging filmmakers – rolling

Jo Smith Productions open for submissions – rolling

Writers’ Mutual writing group – Wednesdays 11am-1pm

Opportunities to hear your play with Player Playwrights – Ongoing submissions

Online Playwriting Course with Live Theatre (£95-£495) – rolling

Playwrights Circle at the Bread & Roses – Ongoing (monthly event)

The Institute of Other seeking creative practitioners – Deadline: none posted

White Hart Trust Studios seeking international and foreign language theatre – Deadline: none posted

Pokfulam Rd Productions looking for playwrights and creatives – Deadline: none posted

55 Kings Contemporary Theatre Productions looking for writers – Deadline: none posted

Plane Paper Theatre call out for plays – Deadline: none posted

Theatrelab seeking scripts to perform at ‘WordPlay’ at Bath Spa University – Deadline: none posted

Londonville Lit offering reading slots – Deadline: none posted

Madam Renards Mini Fringe Festival Swindon open for applications from writers and performers – Deadline: none posted (festival takes place in 2016)

Orange Tea Theatre accepting submissions – Deadline: Rolling

Funding available for students at Glasgow University MLitt Playwriting & Dramaturgy – Deadline: None posted

Everything Theatre accepting plays for podcast readings – Deadline: None posted

The Cockpit Theatre seeking work for scratch nights – No deadline posted but performances take place on the first Monday of the month.

Shred Productions open to submissions – Deadline: None (open submissions)

Poppy Seed – accepting submissions of 5 minute scripts for blog – Deadline: None posted

COG ARTSpace call out for playwrights! – Deadline: None

Literary Projects Co-ordinator at RSC

The Royal Shakespeare Company produces Shakespeare’s plays in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers. The company’s Literary Department commissions and develops new plays, adaptations and translations to produce on all of the company’s stages.

About the role:  The Literary Projects Co-ordinator is the first point of contact for writers and artists working with the company to create new work. The role requires precise administrative skill, office management and a thorough knowledge and keen interest in both contemporary and classical theatre making. You will not only be responsible for the day to day administrative running of the Literary Department, but also project manage the research and development of new scripts, organising workshops, readings and liaising closely with writers, actors, directors and designers in the process.

You will read and format scripts for rehearsal, monitor new work and emerging talent throughout the UK and work closely with the Marketing team to contribute material both for print and our online profile.

The salary for this vacancy is £24,000.

Requirements:  While first-rate, precise organisational and administrative skills are vital, you should have sound experience of working with theatre makers – gained either in production or project management. You’ll also need a self-motivated and enthusiastic approach, not to mention a real passion for theatre.

How to apply:  Full details about the post and how to apply can be found on their website.

Deadline:  10 June 2016

Source:  Guardian Jobs

Eastside Screenwriters free Screenwriting Course for 16-19 year olds

Eastside Screenwriters is a free summer programme which enables enthusiastic young writers aged 16 – 19 to gain the skills they need to create engaging and original film scripts over the course of a month. The course will lead participants through the process of turning a good idea into a great screenplay. Participants will have the chance to see their scripts made into films and gain insights into career options.

The course is FREE but you must be available on all of the following dates:

  • Monday 25th July (10am -5pm)
  • Tuesday 26th July (10am -5pm)
  • Tuesday 2nd August (10am -5pm)
  • Tuesday 9th August (10am -5pm)
  • Tuesday 16th August  (10am -5pm)

How to apply:  The application form can be downloaded from their website.

The application deadline is 27 June and the course begins 25 July and further information can be found here: http://bit.ly/1TKrLcw or email: gemma@eastside.org.uk

Deadline: 27 June 2016

Source: Direct contact